Stewart Brand changed my life. Several times. When I was 16 years old, I got a copy of the Whole Earth Catalog and I was never the same. Through it, I discovered Buckminster Fuller, Gregory Bateson, whole systems thinking, nomadics, and the general, revolutionary notion (now commonplace in our wired info-age) that an individual could do just about anything if he or she had access to the right information and tools. It was also through the quarterly Whole Earth Review that I discovered Mark Tilden and BEAM robotics and even zines and mail art, all things that became important parts of my life. The Space Colonies book got me heavily into the L5 Society and commercial space development for a few years. And then it was through Brand’s Whole Earth Software Catalog and short-lived Whole Earth Software Review that I fell in love with computers and decided I needed one. Stat. Armed with said computer, The WELL BBS was my launching pad into cyberspace and my writing career. And early on in that career, I actually got to write for the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog and Whole Earth Review, a dream come true for me. It’s hard to imagine any one person having more of an effect on the maker in me or maker culture in general.
Happy Birthday, Stewart!